Spooktacular String Philharmonster, Part 1

What are you going to be for Halloween? A witch, a goblin, a devil? While students are putting the final touches on their costumes and carving their pumpkins, it’s time to think about doing a Spooktacular String Philharmonster in 2011. A what? Whatever you want to call it, it’s time to get creative!

While the holidays, especially Christmas and Hanukkah, are good times for concerts and fundraisers for your orchestra, Halloween should not be overlooked. It’s probably the one time of year when you want to hear those screechy strings, ghoulish glissandos, and terrifying tremelos. This music not only has the power to raise the dead, but also raise money for your orchestra. If you don’t normally charge admission for your concerts, now is the time. You can include low-cost activities, such as a costume and pumpkin-carving contests, face-painting, and musical games for children. Promote your concert to the public and engage the community.

Dr. Robert Quebbemann, director of the Missouri State University Symphony Orchestra, has been presenting a Halloween concert for the community for over 10 years. Their concerts incorporate film, live-action drama, comedy scenes, smoke, lights, visual effects, and well known Halloween-themed music. Combine with your school chorus, band, or drama department to make it as big an event as you wish.

Rest in Peace until next week…Part 2 will creep up on you with a suggested scary repertoire list and continue to cast a spell on you as you learn which major symphony orchestras are presenting Halloween concerts. Muah ha ha HAH…

Discuss your Halloween concert ideas here. If this is too scary for you, click here for other fundraising ideas.

MENC member Dr. Robert Quebbeman is the director of orchestral studies and graduate studies in music and conducts the Missouri State University Symphony Orchestra in Springfield, Missouri. Dr. Quebbeman was also co-conductor of MENC’s 2006 World’s Largest Concert.

— Nicole “Spooky” Springer, October 27, 2010. © National Association for Scary Music Education.